dinsdag 12 februari 2008

The Dvoretsky Method

In some of the knight’s posts and comments the question is raised if the Dvoretsky School of chess has a sort of GM-RAM which contains essential chess knowledge. I very much doubt that this is true. Dvoretsky and his followers do however have a set of positions that they frequently use to train and test their pupils.

In his wonderful book Chess for Zebras Jonathan Rowson gives us some insight in the way these positions are used for training. He gives the following description of the way he was trained by Yusupov.

“This (the training) consisted almost entirely of attempting to solve exercises that he (Yusupov) knew well. The training exercises had definitive answers, but they also resembled real positions so if I deviated from the answers Yusupov would put down his book of answers, and I had to deal with the man himself! This took place over the course of five days at Yusupovs house in Germany. I enjoyed the hospitality of the Yusupov family, but my ego has never had such a systematic pounding before or since. I imagine we looked at about 30 different positions, and in most cases I got the first moves right, only to slip up towards the end. Almost never did I get the solution right from start to finish. It made me feel like a very weak player. Yusupov is generous in spirit, and didn’t want me to suffer, but he pointed out to me that I did not calculate like a grandmaster. On the one hand this was discouraging, but it was good to know what I needed to work on, and given that I was 2550 at the time, I consoled myself with the thought that I must be very good at other aspects of the game. Perhaps, I thought, if I could sort this part of my game out then I could still make significant strides.”

As I get it, the Dvoretsky method is so much aimed at building up GM-RAM knowledge, as it is about developing the skill to play out difficult positions that require precision and determination. Qualities all star pupils of Dvoretsky seem to have (acquired).

2 opmerkingen:

transformation zei

your work is greatly appreciated.

please do not take my brief comments to suggest lack of appreciation. i am also deeply appreciative that you try (and succeed quite well!) in writing good, solid English when this is not your primary language.

thank you! i usually read here late, after work and before bed, and it is 2:35 am here.

all that you say makes great sense, and i hopefully listen with humility.

do you know Yvette Nagel or Yasser Seirawan at all? good folks.

Phaedrus zei

Thanks again for your encouragement Transformation. No way that I would take your brief but warm comments as a sign of lack of appreciation.

I know Yvette and Yasser only very casually. I met them when we played Yvette's team last season. She played against a teammate who is also a very good friend of mine. To be frank, he outplayed Yvette completely, but lost the game because he fell for a trap that cost him his queen. During the post mortem analysis, Yasser joined in. When the analysis reached the final stage of the game, he saw the decisive mistake immediately.

He managed to comfort my friend though by telling him that every chess player had fallen for that trick at least once in his life. He illustrated this by showing a game fragment in which Aronian fell for the same trick. After these words life was again bearable for my friend!